There are so many great games out there that it’s really hard to keep up with all of them, and a bunch of popular games and series that I’ve just never got around to playing. Fire Emblem was one such example until recently.
After playing some desktop campaigns with friends (and a ongoing Pathfinder campaign with my daughter), I’ve wanted to find a similar experience for single player. The closest I could really find in years past would be RPG video games like Final Fantasy, and more recently games like Pathfinder Adventure Card Game a desktop, card and dice game which I’ve had a blast with. A couple more fantasy video games I’ve gotten into more recently are Pathfinder: Kingmaker (which I’d like to get into in a future entry) and the Fire Emblem series.
Fire Emblem features turn-based grid combat, not unlike popular tabletop RPGs. My only major experience with these had been Final Fantasy Tactics (Playstation 1, 1997 Japan and 1998 US). While many of the Fire Emblem games of the past were notoriously brutal, featuring permadeath (if a character dies in battle, they’re gone for good). Some players are eager for the challenge. Me, nowadays, not so much with the limited time I have to play. I’d rather enjoy the story and other features.
Fire Emblem: Awakening was the perfect introduction to the series for me, including both the hard modes and more forgiving options. What I loved about it most was the combat. Sure, it isn’t a replacement for the tabletop games you love playing with friends, but it works well and is fun while you’re playing alone.
Another major thing for me were the music, and story. Fans of fantasy video game soundtracks will love it. The variety of soothing tracks and rousing themes will ensure that you’ll want to have your headphones ready.
The characters are likable too, and easy to get attached to. The main protagonist, Robin (unless you choose to rename him of her) has a pretty cool backstory that is told along the way.
While I’m nerding out about the game, I have to mention my ‘best girl’ from Fire Emblem Awakening, Tharja.
Despite her attempts to come across as a dark and possibly evil person, her true colors are shown as her character is developed, revealing a funny and sweet person beneath the façade.
In conclusion, I loved this game, and I think that fans of turn based combat and fantasy stories will too!